Peugeot says diesel electric hybrids coming to OZ Australia

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Peugeot Electric Cars

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Peugeot’s hybrid horsepower

Barry Park tests a diesel-electric version of the Peugot 508 wagon against a racehorse.

PT1M19S 620 349 May 10, 2012

Peugeot still won t commit to becoming the first car maker in Australia to offer a diesel-electric vehicle, but the brand says it is likely to bring in two oil-burning hybrids in 2013.

It would be a new education for people, Gillespie says. But, to be fair, I think the people who would be interested would be pretty well-educated. They would be people that would get it. They would be the type of people that would go and do the research on [petrol] hybrid verses diesel hybrid. So I think there s a market.

Peugeot’s diesel-hybrid wagon

Peugeot 508 RXH.

He adds: Anything you can do that would put you in a sense of leadership we would look at.

Although the diesel-electric drivetrain in both cars still needs to finish hot-weather testing Gillespie is confident that it will be ready for Australian conditions by the end of the year.

He did admit concerns about the potentially low volume, and says the cost of training dealers, mechanics and other services means bringing in the two cars needs to be part of a wider strategy.

I don t think you re going to bring it in as a volume car, you d bring it in as a car that s going to do something for the brand; in terms of recognition and something that reinforces our brand DNA. We d like to do it, but it s got to add up.

We re looking at both, and I think you ve got to make sure it s part of a strategy. You don t just bring the car in and say we ll see how we go . It s got to be part of a strategy. So if we do 508, we ve got to make sure it s got a good strategy around the brand.

As you know dealership workshops have got to be equipped to deal with hybrid, so you ve got to be careful.

Gillespie says the company has already had discussions with major fleet customers, including Woolworths and Qantas, about the 508 RXH because of its green credentials.

He also confirms that the 508 RXH will be on display at Sydney motor show later this year.

Peugeot Electric Cars

But next year is likely to see the end of the 4007 SUV, which is a lightly modified version of the Mitsubishi Outlander.

Speaking at this week s launch of the new 4008 compact SUV, which is based on the Mitsubishi ASX, Gillespie says that although the 4008 isn t a direct replacement for the 4007, the latter will no longer be offered.

The 4007 is currently the sixth lowest selling SUV in the medium SUV segment. Stock is expected to run out by the end of this year or early 2013.

At this point we re not replacing 4007 until there s a later model, which is maybe a couple of years away, he says. It s an all-Peugeot if you want to use that term.

Gillespie says he can t comment on whether or not any future Peugeot SUV will continue to be shared between Peugeot and Mitsubishi.

That s a global strategy, I don t run global strategy, he says. They might do a joint-venture they might not.

There are plenty of ways you can joint-venture; on engines, on drivetrains; on platforms. Obviously they might still do another one, I just don t know; I m not privy to that.

But if one does become available Gillespie would jump at it.

If we could get a full-size SUV and it was well-priced, well-specced of course we d look at it, he says. But at this point we haven t been told there is one on the horizon.

Peugeot Electric Cars
Peugeot Electric Cars
Peugeot Electric Cars

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